5/8 is not a magic number

I had this brain-phart I wanted to explore. Both my muslin for CS1201 and 1204(dartless) required a 5/8″ shoulder slope. The BPh, was thinking that  I simply needed to add one standard alteration, shoulder slope, and my tops would fit beautifully as always.

So I traced another copy of PP104, the dartless version.  I made my usual BWL and the by now typical slash and slide NSA. The I drew a new shoulder line that was 5/8″ lower on the armscye side.  I knew this shortens the length of the armscye, so I also lowered the armscye by scooping out  5/8″ at the underarm and then trued the new points into a nice smooth armscye front and back.

I chose another ITY for my fabric. Well, it sort of chose me.  This is one of those fabrics that looked better on-line than it did in person. I wouldn’t have purchased it had I been in a store. But it was here. It was cheap and eventually I’ll need another muslin worthy fabric so into the stash it went. I have several ITY knits in the stash. I buy them all the time; like every time I see one I really like..  I like wearing and sewing them. They launder well and unlike rayon knits stay in the wardrobe for several seasons.  They are always well-behaved in the stash; patiently waiting the time when they are perfect for the garment imagined. Not this one. It didn’t like the stash. It would slide to the side. Creep to the front. One time it escaped to the back and beneath the stash shelves where DV (my robotic vacuum) choked trying to eat it.  I’m actually doing a bit of rearranging and came across this fabric, yet again trying to creep away. I decided if it was so determined to get my attention, it would be a muslin n-o-w.

I taped the shoulder seams and stitched them together. I didn’t think I’d like the finished garment (because of the print) and decided to use elastic to finish the neckline. I stitched the elastic to the right side; pressed folded and then top stitched.  My elastic is actually lingerie elastic with a tiny bit of trim which now peaks out at the neckline. I hemmed, then set in the sleeves and stitched the side seams. The sleeve hem gave me no end of trouble. First the sleeve itself was 1″ too long. I had to trim that. Then I wanted to turn the hem up and coverstitch but the wrist is too narrow. I fought with the CS for a short period of time before deciding it wasn’t worth it. Ripped out the badly CS’d hem and tried turning the hem 1/2″ twice. My pins would not stay in. My hem would not turn. I finally gave up. Threw it on the ironing board. Turned off the lights and went to watch TV.  Maybe it was just fatigue?  The next day, the hem turned easily; pins stayed in and I was finished (including shoulder pads) in about 30 minutes.

I’m not entirely sure what’s happening with the back. I don’t see signs of strain which would indicate the back is too narrow.  I know  both of Conni’s blocks benefited from increasing the depth of the back dart.  If this had been a woven it would be poofy. But since it’s a drapey ITY knit, it sags below shoulder blades and clings to butt. I question those diagonal lines because I know there is more than enough ease across both shoulder and butt. I may need to admit that like others, I need the CB seam. Because, even with the shoulder pads, you won’t mistake this for the back of a younger woman.  Yet, it’s not so bad I won’t be seen wearing it.

Even on the side view, I see the diagonal lines on the back. There’s also a strong horizontal on the front. That’s from my pants. Just finished, but they have an error on the waistband that needs to be corrected. I really need to get rid of that bra. I spent the day pulling it down (it creeps up and over apex no matter how much I adjust shoulder straps or hooks). Clearly it does nothing for my figure. But what’s really interesting to me is that the strong diagonal that were forming below the bust as shown here

are gone.  Interestingly, my research says the pulls above the bust indicate that the shoulder slope is too great (i.e. needs to be less than the 5/8″ I made), yet these drag lines above the bust were also visible  when the shoulder slope was too square.

That bra has got to go (pause while running off to find and destroy). Oh and the diagonal on the sleeve, prominent as always.  I just feel like all the diagonals, both front and back are going to the underarm.

So what’s next. Obviously, just lowering pattern-shoulders by 5/8″ is not the silver bullet. The shoulder slope does need to be changed and I need a reliable way to make every shoulder slope match my body.   I need to contemplate my next action.  I am anxious to resolve this fitting issue. I’ve seen several knit tops I want to copy.


4 thoughts on “5/8 is not a magic number

  1. Have you tried removing 5/8 from the front, at the shoulder seam, and adding the 5/8 to the back shoulder seam. Do the same on the sleeve – remove 5/8 from the front side of the sleeve and add 5/8 to the back of the sleeve. HTH
    We’ve had 5 in of rain since Sat night at 6!!


    1. I thought Pam included that in her pattern. The back is clearly higher than the front. So no, I didn’t think to try it. Feel like I had a blonde moment. 5 inches of rain! DH has been watering like crazy. Our house is on a slight hill that is very sandy. If he isnt diligent, we’d lose all our plants.


  2. I love the print on this knit, very pretty on you. If you are having to pull down your bra and/or your straps keep falling off your shoulders, it means your band is too big (and probably your cups are too small). I had this same problem. I am fairly flat-chested and almost always wear a padded, push-up type bra. Even though I am so flat, I went down one band size and up two(!) cup sizes from what I was wearing and the fit is much better, no more fiddling with my bra all day. Of course, you also have to try different brands. The best for me are Maidenform and Fruit of the Loom…..


    1. Thanks Angela. I have to admit, the fabric is more attractive sewn into a garment then either on the web or fresh out of the mailed box. As for the bra.. mine only last about a year, sometimes just six months. My laundering habits are to blame and this one is definitely past its prime.


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